Michael Thornton

mhtMichael Thornton has been a jackaroo, a journalist, a boarding school housemasteradvisory board member, a consultant, a columnist, a volunteer and a small acre farmer. After completing agricultural college, he became honorary director of the Glenormiston Foundation, which led to a career in raising money professionally for schools, colleges and tertiary institutions. In 2010, Michael volunteered for six months with a street kids’ charity in Hanoi, Vietnam -- Blue Dragon Children's Foundation -- through Australian Volunteers International (AVI), where he worked on communications and fundraising. The Foundation has supported nearly 2,000 kids and has more than 80 staff. Upon returning home from Vietnam, he became director of Advancement (alumni relations, events and philanthropic fundraising) at Melbourne Business School.

Michael's first book, JACKAROO: A Memoir, was published in June 2011. His second book, 27 Days a Pilgrim on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, is based on his experience walking the Spanish Camino de Santiago de Compostela pilgrim trek in October 2013.

Michael is at present working on a follow up memoir to Jackaroo. The story of two lives lived in parallel; the journey of a baby-boomer who knows from boarding school days he is different to other boys: he likes boys over girls. But such attractions are taboo for his generation, and so for fifty years he lives the acceptable life, doing straight male things like dating, marriage, family, as well as achieving success in journalism and fundraising, all of this while quietly wishing he had a man in his life. The writing is sharp and engaging. Michael's work in School Philanthropy is fascinating and the way he has covered his son's life and death with Diabetes is heart wrenching. The final section dealing with his own depression (associated with his son's death, his failing second marriage and the understanding that he is gay) is clear eyed and very important at a time when so many people suffer depression.